Divorce is usually a private matter. Sure, your friends and family know what you’re going through. But most people don’t broadcast that news to the general public. As social media has become a ubiquitous part of modern life, that has changed. It’s remarkable what some people choose to share online.
The rise of crowdfunding also changed our lives. It impacts how people start businesses, cover medical costs, and more. This exerts a significant influence, including on the way people approach divorce. In case our point wasn’t clear, you can now crowdfund the end of your marriage.
Can You Crowdfund Your Divorce?
You can turn to this strategy to finance art projects, nonprofit campaigns, and any other idea you can come up with. Why not divorce?
A few years back, California couple Sara and Josh Margulis launched a website called Honeyfund. They designed the resource to allow newlyweds to crowdsource dream honeymoons.
From there they created an offshoot, Plumfund, to finance other “life events.” Through this outlet, users can bankroll baby showers, support causes, throw birthday parties, and more.
Recently, they added crowdfunding divorce as an option. It really brings their efforts full circle.
This probably comes as no surprise, but divorce can be an expensive undertaking. The Margulis’ had the idea after a friend was left in grim financial circumstances following a conflict-riddled divorce and an extended custody battle. Via Plumfund, family, friends, and even random strangers, should they feel so inclined, kick in to help individuals cover the cost of dissolving their marriage.
Divorce often becomes a massive monetary drain, especially if in contentious splits. While it may seem a bit outlandish, the crowdfunding option helps protect your financial well-being moving forward. No one wants to don’t start a new life in the red.
We will have to see if this model catches on, but it’s an intriguing new option. It allows people to reach out for help in these situations, especially as the dollar amounts pile up.
Related Reading: The Cost of Divorce: What You Should Know
Filing And Legal Fees
Not every divorce is a heated clash between spouses trying to get the best of one another. Some are amicable, uncontested, and relatively simple. In these instances, a do-it-yourself approach and handling everything on your own works. Still, even in these cases, filing the paperwork costs a few hundred dollars.
If there’s conflict, the price only goes up from there. Serving your spouse costs you. Filing and responding to motions filed against you comes with fees. Going to mediation, appearing in court, and more all have price tags.
Whenever forms show up anywhere or you do anything official, you have to fork over at least a few dollars. That adds up.
Related Reading: 5 Financial Mistakes that Impact Divorce Settlements
Divorce Lawyer’s Fees
Even in the best-case scenarios, divorce can be tricky and complex. No matter what, you’ll likely be well served by talking to an attorney.
The online forms may look straightforward, but a professional who deals with this type of thing on a regular basis offers peace of mind, guidance, and insight as you go through the process. This, of course, also comes with a price.
Just because you consult an attorney, doesn’t mean you have to hire them. In relatively straightforward cases, it might be enough to have a lawyer look over your forms before you file.
You may want to familiarize yourself with their billing practices upfront, however.
Related Reading: Preparing for an Initial Consultation With a Divorce Lawyer
Child And Spousal Support
Depending on the situation, child and spousal support may come into play after finalizing your divorce.
Designed to provide for the continuing care of minor children, child support payments cover everything. From routine necessities, like food and shelter, to medical care and education, it falls under this umbrella. The amount varies depending on the financial circumstances of both parties, need, the custody arrangement, and other factors.
Though it isn’t awarded in every case, spousal support frequently pops up in the final judgment. Courts order this to ensure that your ex is able to cover financial needs after the divorce. Taking into account health, the length of the marriage, future earning potential of both parties, and more, this number will be based on what is fair and equitable in your situation. These payments may only last a short while, or they may continue indefinitely. How long depends on the necessity.
Related Reading: Spousal Support in Oregon: What You Should Know
Crowdfunding the Less Obvious Costs Of Divorce
Most of these expenditures are obvious costs of divorce. There are, however, less expected financial impacts during the process and beyond.
You will likely be faced with the costs of setting up a new household. Including all of the bills, purchases, deposits, and payments associated with that. This also depends on whether you rent or buy.
Even if you stay in a once-shared marital home, you may be faced with having to cover all of the bills from a single paycheck for the first time.
Your tax situation changes. Depending on the settlement and division of property, you may also incur capital gains taxes. If you and your ex took out loans as a couple, divorce doesn’t change those agreements. You’re still on the hook for the balance. If no arrangement is made, or if payments are missed, it may still negatively impact your credit.
Related Reading: Is the 50% Divorce Rate a Lie?
Minimizing The Cost Of Divorce
Divorce isn’t cheap and is rarely easy. It’s similar to buying a car: how much you spend depends a great deal on what you need and what you’re after.
A number of moving parts come into play, but there are, fortunately enough, ways to reduce some of the costs. This holds especially true in uncontested splits, or those with no children involved and little property to divide.
If you educate yourself on the process ahead of time, it will be easier to work with lawyers, judges, and mediators to reach a final agreement. Taking a hands-on approach and doing the legwork yourself alleviates some tasks you might otherwise pay an attorney for. Being organized and having all of your paperwork, records, and documents in order ahead of time also streamlines the process.
Pick your battles and know what you’re willing to concede or compromise. You don’t want to go back and forth fighting over items of relatively little importance if avoidable. This often racks up unnecessary hourly charges.
These are just a few ways to keep the costs from spiraling out of control during your divorce. That said, there will be some bills to pay as a result. That’s precisely the kind of thing Plumfund and other crowdfunding outlets may be able to help with.
This may be an unusual approach, one that wouldn’t occur to many people, but in the present cultural picture, it’s not the most out-there idea. We probably haven’t heard the last about this phenomenon.
Crowdfunding divorces may or may not catch on, but if you’re in a situation where you didn’t think it was financially feasible, you may want to explore this option further.